Happy Incarnation Day!
Some may not know that Christmas is the celebration of the incarnation of the eternal Son of God (Jn 1:14). The God who created the heavens and the earth is the Triune Godhead revealed in the Bible (Gen 1–2), which is the written Word of God (2 Tim 3:16).
God the Father sent His only begotten Son to save His people from their sins (Jn 3:16; Mt 1:21). Sin entered the world with the first created man, Adam. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God in a purposeful act of rebellion, they chose the consequence of sin, which is separation from God (Gen 3; Eph 2:12).
Sin ruined man and the world he occupies (Gen 6:5); and the consequence of sin is death (Rom 6:23). All people are born with souls, dead to God, thanks to the passing of original sin to Adam’s progeny (1 Cor 15:22). The death of the body follows, and it is appointed once for a man to die and then comes the judgment (Heb 9:27). The consequence of sins, not dealt with, is eternal punishment in fiery hell (Mt 5:22; 25:41, 46; Jude 7). The infinite majesty of God is the offended party. This has been the course of most of humanity since the fall of creation (Gen 3).
People contemplate God because He has made His existence known to them, by the things He has made (Rom 1:19). They are made even more aware, with the issuing of the Law of God through Moses and the nation of Israelites (Ex 20; Dt 5). When the Law is preached, the holy character of God is complemented with the knowledge of sin (Rom 3:20). The gravity of humanity is this separation because of sin.
The plight of man is called, “total depravity.” In their sin nature, people suppress the truth about God and about themselves (Rom 1:18; Eph 2:3). They are unwilling and unable to reform themselves to close the gap of separation between them and the holy God (Rom 3:10–12). They live in delusion, by ignoring the promise of just judgment and the wrath of God to come against sinners (1 Thess 1:10).
The mind of sinful man is blinded by the god of this world (2 Cor 4:4), Satan, the usurper of Adam’s God-given dominion. The world system is the design and execution of the dark lord, whose currency in all evil is sin. Man is enslaved to sin and the devil (Jn 8:34; Rom 6:6), who is far more powerful, dominating humanity, along with his legions of demons. These are principalities and powers in heavenly places (Rom 8:38; Eph 6:12).
The world is in darkness, spiritually (Col 1:13). The mind of men is set on futility (Jer 14:14; Eph 4:17). The lust of their hearts for the world, and things of the world, leads to the idolatrous worship that replaces the worship of the one true God in three Persons (Trinity).
Men even create their own self-designed religions to further deceive themselves into imagining they worship God aright. In reality, world religions are formal systems of idolatrous worship of the creature, instead of the Creator/Redeemer God (Rom 1:18–32).
In order to serve and worship in a manner ordained by God, there must be a Savior sent from heaven who can lead the captives from darkness and slavery to the kingdom of God (Is 61:1).
Jesus Christ, the Messiah of God, is the one Leader of His church (Mt 23:10), the assembly of the saints, who worship God in Spirit and truth (Jn 4:24). Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Mt 1:18, 20), and He was born of the Virgin Mary (Mt 1:21). Thus, He alone is the God-man promised throughout the Old Testament Scriptures (Is 7:14, 8:8; 9:6). He was given names to help identify His true identity: Immanuel; Eternal Father; Mighty God; Prince of peace; Son of man; Son of God; etc.
The name given to Him from heaven via the angel Gabriel was, “Yahweh saves.” This clearly revealed who He was and the purpose for which He came into the world. Adam ruined his posterity; but the second Adam reconciled God’s elect people to right relationship, by bringing many sons to glory (Heb 2:10). By His death on the cross, He reconciled the entirety of His holy nation (1 Pet 2:9), the church (Mt 16:18), the true Israel of God (Gal 6:16).
The reason for the incarnation, God the Son taking on flesh, was so He might offer Himself as the perfect Law Keeper and sacrificial substitute for sins. Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of His world of redeemed saints (Jn 1:29; 1 Pet 2:24).
The perfect sinless flesh and blood of Christ was pierced for our transgressions (Ps 22:16; Is 53:6) and shed for the forgiveness of our sins. Neither we nor anyone else could make such a perfect sacrificial offering to God, but Jesus’ sacrificial death was acceptable to God, as demonstrated by His rising again from the dead. His bodily death was for our sins (Eph 5:25; 1 Pet 2:24), and his bodily resurrection was for our righteousness. We enjoy inseparable union with Christ, who sits on the throne of God in the presence of God the Father (Lk 22:69; Rev 7:17).
Soon, Jesus Christ will present His holy and blameless bride before God the Father (Eph 1:4; 5:27; Col 1:22). The finished work of the Son of man, who is the Son of God, has secured this future for His church. The Spirit of Christ, who was sent to make alive, illumine, and indwell the hearts of God’s people, applies the merits of the incarnate Christ. God’s grateful people give thanks for God’s indescribable gift (2 Cor 9:15), who is the greatest gift of Christmas, given to be the Light of the world, and the life of His people. Happy Incarnation Day!
Spokane Valley, Washington
December 25, 2021